Edward Leonard Troyen was born in New York City on October 22, 1926. He grew up as a totally assimilated American Jew, with a handful of Yiddish phrases his sole remembrance of his Jewish heritage. After high school he entered the field of civil aviation and he served in the United States Air Force in the European Theater during WWII. He was deeply moved by what he saw of the aftermath of the Holocaust, and in particular by the plight of the stateless survivors who had no government that cared about them. Upon discharge Troyen signed a nine month contract to serve as a civilian instructor in mechanics and flight engineering with the American forces occupying Japan. He made deep friendships there; in particular, the family of one Japanese dentist who came to cherish him so much that they continue to mark the anniversary of his death as though he had been a member of the family. Upon his return, he resumed higher education in the United States.
When he became aware of the situation in Israel and in particular of the critical lack of trained Air Force personnel, he sought out a proper underground channel and offered his services to the Israel Air Force. In spite of his mother's concern and warnings of danger, he promptly left with a group of volunteers for Israel. Troyen served in the assembling of airplanes, in their maintenance and in directing and instructing others in technical work. His efforts were most important in getting Israel's planes flying and keeping them airworthy. In the meantime, his mother's health took a negative turn, and he was urged to return home. With difficulty a phone conversation was arranged with his father on July 4th. When the senior Mr. Troyen understood how urgent and important of his son’s work, he agreed that it was proper for him to remain in Israel under the circumstances. Very close to the Second Truce, with his work completed and free to enjoy a brief respite in Tel Aviv, Troyen volunteered to participate in an attack mission. Severely wounded by enemy fire, he was rushed to Haifa hospital where he lingered for a day dying July 19th, 1948, the day the Second Truce began. He was buried in Haifa Cemetery. In a letter to his parents found in his pocket ready for mailing, he had written that as soon as the truce was reestablished, he would immediately return home.